Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis star in this summer’s comedy Dinner for Schmucks. That’s enough funny for three movies, so their costar knows his place. Ron Livingston sees his job as setting up the comedians.
“I am one of the hosts of the dinner,” Livingston said. “I sort of play a douchebag antagonist who’s got it out for Paul Rudd. I’m not actually the boss. I’m sort of one of his evil minions.”
When the heavy hitting comedians start riffing, Livingston just sits back and lets it happen. “Honestly, I do what I can. I’m not really an improv guy by trade. When you get guys like Rudd and Carell and Galifianakis, you just try to set them up. I’ll be the tee that the ball is sitting on that they can kind of try to park it with. I get the assist. I’m the assist man.”
The film is based on the French comedy The Dinner Game, but most Americans probably won’t know that and Livingston avoided comparisons. “I made it a point actually not to watch the original until I see ours because if I do that, it’s a little too intimidating.”
Dinner for Schmucks opens July 23.
Watch "First Take on Dinner for Schmucks"